The man, whose identity was not immediately released, jumped about 8 a.m. from the 12th story of 290 Ninth Ave., which is across the street from P.S. 33, Chelsea Preparatory School, according to witnesses and a fire spokesman.
A man waiting in line for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, next to the apartments, said the man who fell appeared to be elderly.
"It really is very disturbing," said Emanuel Robertson Smith, 48.
Nearby Chelsea Prep serves about 350 students from pre-kindergarten up to fifth grade, according to the school's website.